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Caregiver Statistics: An Inside Look at the Life of a Caregiver

18 facts about who caregivers are, whom they care for, their struggles, and the positive side of caregiving

Whether you’re a new or veteran caregiver, you understand the lifestyle that comes with holding such responsibilities. At times, it can be a very lonely and overwhelming position to be in. When someone relies heavily on you to maintain and improve their quality of life, it can feel as if there’s a constant weight being applied to you daily. We’ve compiled these caregiver statistics to help you know what comes with being a caregiver and the positive & negative sides of being a caregiver so you can feel less lonely and take preemptive steps to make life easier. 

CAREGIVER STATISTICS: AN INSIDE LOOK AT THE LIFE OF A CAREGIVER

Who they’re taking care of (the carees)

About 40 million Americans provide unpaid care to adults age 65 years or older.

Most carees are 65 years and older.

About 40 million Americans provide unpaid care to adults age 65 years or older.

About 22% of caregivers provide help to two aging adults. 7% of caregivers provide help to three or more.

Some caregivers end up caring for both of their parents.

About 22% of caregivers provide help to two aging adults. 7% of caregivers provide help to three or more.

The aging population will reach to 21% by 2030, doubling from 35 million people to 73 million people.

The aging population is growing.

The aging population will reach to 21% by 2030, doubling from 35 million people to 73 million people.

Currently, 22% of the population ages 65+ have reported having a disability; mobility being the highest limited function.

Older generations are more likely to have a disability.

Currently, 22% of the population ages 65+ have reported having a disability; mobility being the highest limited function.

Caregiver demographics and lifestyle

Do I need a cane?

Most caregivers are employed.

6/10 caregivers are employed with nearly half who work full time. Caregivers working at least 15 hours per week indicated that assisting with caregiving significantly affects their work life. 

While the population of caregivers is spread out from generation to generation, late baby boomers and gen x aged 45-64 are most likely to be caregivers being at 23%. However, about 10 million millennials are caregivers as well.

Most caregivers are baby boomers with more millennials taking on the role each year. 

While the population of caregivers is spread out from generation to generation, late baby boomers and gen x aged 45-64 are most likely to be caregivers being at 23%. However, about 10 million millennials are caregivers as well.

Women are more likely to be an informal caregiver than men. They are also more likely to lose financial wages due to the demands of caregiving and suffer financial hardship.

Most caregivers are women.

Women are more likely to be an informal caregiver than men. They are also more likely to lose financial wages due to the demands of caregiving and suffer financial hardship.

In 2013, about 40 million family caregivers in the US provided an estimated 37 billion hours of care to an adult with limitations in daily activities.

Caregivers give up a lot of their personal time.

In 2013, about 40 million family caregivers in the US provided an estimated 37 billion hours of care to an adult with limitations in daily activities.

Almost half of informal caregivers were a child of the care recipient.

Many are family caregivers.

Almost half of informal caregivers were a child of the care recipient.

Women were more likely to assist self-care and medical care while men were more likely to provide assistance with mobility.

Gender does influence the role that caregivers take.

Women were more likely to assist self-care and medical care while men were more likely to provide assistance with mobility.

The Value of Informal Caregivers

Informal caregiving may be unpaid, however, the value of services provided by caregivers were worth $470 billion in 2013. At the value of $470 billion in 2013, this value exceeded of paid home care and Medicaid spending, while almost matching the value of Walmart ($477 billion in 2013).

The role caregivers play is vital.

Informal caregiving may be unpaid, however, the value of services provided by caregivers were worth $470 billion in 2013. At the value of $470 billion in 2013, this value exceeded of paid home care and Medicaid spending, while almost matching the value of Walmart ($477 billion in 2013).

Common Struggles of Caregivers

46% stated that they have too many things to handle.  42% reported not having enough time for themselves.

An abundance of responsibilities and a lack of free time are the most common pain points.

46% stated that they have too many things to handle.
42% reported not having enough time for themselves. 

37% have emotional difficulties.

Caregiving can take a toll emotionally.

37% have emotional difficulties.

37% have emotional difficulties.

Finances prove to be a source of caregiver stress.

37% have emotional difficulties.

18% have physical difficulties (helping their care recipient perform physical tasks).

Taking time for physical fitness is important for certain tasks.

18% have physical difficulties (helping their care recipient perform physical tasks).

The Positive Side of Caregiving

69% of caregivers reported that their role as a caregiver has brought them closer to their caree.

Caregivers form bonds with their caree.

69% of caregivers reported that their role as a caregiver has brought them closer to their caree.

86% of caregivers are satisfied that their caree is well-cared for.

The role of caregiving brings satisfaction and ease.

86% of caregivers are satisfied that their caree is well-cared for.

86% of caregivers are satisfied that their caree is well-cared for.

Caregiving boosts confidence.

46% are more confident about their capabilities since transitioning into their role as a caregiver.

The 2020 Ultimate Guide to Caregiving

LEARN MORE ABOUT CAREGIVING

Read our guide to caregiving and learn the essentials of caregiving including the skills needed, requirements, how to combat caregiver burnout, and more!

READ THE CAREGIVING GUIDE

To understand the role, lifestyle, situations, and struggles that caregiving brings is to set yourself up for success. Knowing what you’re walking into when transitioning into the caregiver role provides you with a broad perspective so you can adequately adapt and be prepared.
Statistics source: National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015). Caregiving in the U.S.

About the Author

Brandon Landgraf is the Digital Marketing Manager for Carex Health Brands. He finds passion and fulfillment in creating content that enhances, improves, and enlivens others' quality of life. All of his written work is formulated to not only offer essential advice and tips but back it with proven studies and experts. His mission is to connect with readers and provide steps to make their lives better.

You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.

About Carex Health Brands

Carex is your one-stop shop for home medical equipment and for products that assist caregivers with providing the best possible support and care for their loved ones. Carex Health Brands has been the branded leader in in-home, self-care medical products for over 35 years. Our goal is to improve the lives of our customers by bring them quality products that bring dignity back to their lives. With our three nationally distributed brands, Carex Health Brands serves national, regional and independent food, drug and mass retailers along with wholesalers, distributors and medical dealers.

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